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What Is the Difference Between Skills and Interests?

What is the difference between skills and interests

Summary: An ideal career brings together your interests and what you’re good at. Reflection, career assessments, and lists can help with identifying and organizing your skills and interests.

How to Identify Your Skills and Interests

Showing up for a career requires dedication and a lot of your waking hours, so finding something you’re good at and passionate about can make your time spent on job-related functions all the more meaningful. Plus, building transferable skills like communications, leadership, project management, and more can benefit you down the road if you decide to try something new or switch jobs. Read on for more about how aligning your skills and interests can help you find a career that will help you flourish.

What are the key differences between skills and interests?

What are the key differences between skills and a interests

Skills are the things you can do, such as writing poems, speaking in front of an audience, or operating power tools. Skills (also called aptitudes) can improve and develop over time with practice or repetition. Interests are what you enjoy doing and reflect your personality and experiences—for example, playing an instrument, competing on a sports or esports team, participating in special clubs, or doing other activities that bring you joy, like art. Skills and interests can work together to help you discover your most authentic self.

Skills + Interests = Career

An ideal career combines your strongest skills with those interests that capture your attention. You may be successful in an academic subject like math, but you might feel like it’s the most interesting subject in your schedule. And conversely, you may enjoy doing something, like basketball, whether you’re on the starting line-up or not.

Combining your preferred skills and interests offers the best opportunity of finding a desirable career match. You’ll continue developing your skills and interests throughout your chosen career while learning new ones. 

How to Identify Your Skills and Interests

As you start to consider options for your career, you’ll want to assess your interests, skills, and values. What do you enjoy, what are you good at, and what do you value most in your life or work environment?

Here are some helpful approaches to identifying your skills and interests:

  • Self-reflect – Gain insight into your skills and interests by recalling and analyzing the events and accomplishments that have made you feel the best about yourself.
  • Make a list – Inventory potential careers that match your interests and skills. For example, if you love aquatic animals and are good at science, you can add marine biologist or aquarium staff member to your list of career options.
  • Take a quiz – Use assessments developed to discover careers related to your skills and interests. The Tallo Career Match, created by career experts, can match your preferences to various careers.

Show Off Your Skills and Interests

Show Off Your Skills and Interests

Remember, people are generally happiest when they do something they find rewarding and exciting. Narrowing your career search around your list of skills and interests will help you find a job in a career that you love. Explore career and interest groups in Tallo Community to connect with peers and mentors who can help you in your journey.

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